Understanding the Types of Damages You Can Recover from a Car Accident: A Comprehensive Guide

What Are the Different Types of Damages?

Compensatory damages are the most common type of compensation that victims of car accidents receive. These damages are used to reimburse you for any expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Non-compensatory damages can also be awarded if it is determined that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Non-compensatory damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium (the ability to enjoy life with your spouse), loss of enjoyment in life activities (like playing sports) and future medical expenses related to your injuries or illness caused by the accident. Punitive damages may also be awarded if it can be proven that someone acted maliciously or recklessly while driving–for example: texting while driving–and caused an accident that injured another person or damaged their property

What Are Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages are the money awarded to you by a court after your car accident. These can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages, including lost earning capacity (the ability to earn money) and loss of future earnings (what you would have earned if the accident hadn’t happened).
  • Pain and suffering.

What Are Non-Compensatory Damages?

Non-compensatory damages are those that are not intended to compensate you for your injuries. Instead, they are meant to help you recover from them. These include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium (the loss of a spouse’s companionship and affection)
  • Loss of enjoyment

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their actions and deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages can be awarded when:

  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED). This means that you must show that your injuries were caused by another person’s intentional or reckless actions, and those actions were so severe that they caused you emotional distress.
  • Fraudulent Misrepresentation/Deceitful Conduct. If someone has made a false statement or concealed something important about a product or service, you may be able to recover punitive damages if you suffer financial loss as a result of relying on these statements or concealment of information.

How Are Damages Calculated?

In order to calculate the damages that you are entitled to, the Pensacola car accident attorneys will need to know your medical bills and other expenses. They will also need to know how long it took you to recover from your injuries, as well as what kind of pain and suffering you endured during this time.

If you were hurt in an accident where another driver was at fault, then they will look at two factors:

  • Severity of Injury – How badly were you hurt? This can be determined by looking at things like whether or not there was any permanent damage done or if there were any surgeries required for recovery (and if so, how many). It may also include emotional distress caused by the incident itself or from having ongoing health issues due to the accident’s impact on your body over time;
  • Degree of Negligence – What did this person do wrong? Was their driving reckless enough that it should have been obvious they would cause an accident if left unattended? Or did they make some mistake like speeding or texting while driving which led directly into hitting another vehicle head-on?
Thomas Elliott

Education: Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York. Pace University, White Plains, New York.
Professional Associations and Memberships: American Bar Association, New York State Bar, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Brooklyn Bar Association, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

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